Dagwood Dogs

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m back in Sydney, albeit briefly. I had to come to Sydney for a workshop on Friday and decided to extend my stay, so I could enjoy my annual day at Rosehill Races and attend Andrew’s (that’s Sue’s son) 21st Birthday.

The last week has been quite busy and I apologise for the delay in updating this diary.

I will start with last Sunday morning, when Kate and I paid a visit to the Fred’s Pass Rural Show. Located about 35-40mins south of Darwin, I was assured the show was a real treat. And it probably was for some, but I thought it was a bit dull. No giant pumpkins – merely a small butternut as the only entry. The winner of the Craft Competition was a number of fishing lures. As for on-stage entertainment, a 14 year old girl kept the crowd enraptured with her dance routine to a Britney Spears number. I hope I’m not sounding too harsh…. but hey… I’m a Sydney boy now!

It was a traditional country show, so there was ample opportunity to enjoy “Hot Tasty Dagwood Dogs” and “Snow Cones”, which it seems are known in Darwin as “Shaved Ice”.

In the afternoon, Kate and I, while driving back to Darwin, discovered a Crocodile Park on the outskirts of town. Even though at first I thought the entry price, $22, was a little steep, I thought it was excellent value. The park was established as a Research Centre, but is now open as a tourist attraction to fund the research.

You can actually get quite close to the crododiles.

Later in the afternoon, both Kate and I had the chance to nurse a baby crocodile (about 12 months old) which was really quite interesting, as it had almost a “rubbery crocodile” feel about it, but I can assure it was well and truly alive.

The remainder of the week has been fairly non-descript… mostly just work. On Wednesday, however, I attended a work-hosted premiere screening of the new Gillian Armstrong film, “Charlotte Grey” which stars the lovely Cate Blanchett and even more lovely Rupert Penry Jones. Despite what you may have seen, it’s not a movie about war… it’s a romance.

After the movie I popped out for a drink at the Mississippi Queen. There was a really nice crowd of people there with whom I had a good old chin-wag. Really amazing people. One guy who had spent a year or two cotton chipping at Bourke. Another guy, Malcolm, (v.cute!!!) who had spent the last four years at Byron Bay. We had a few laughs about the lifestyle of the North Coast and about how if you couldn’t get a job in Byron as a “waiter” you could always do “massage”. Malcolm told me Darwin people don’t quite understand the joke! We also compared notes about the local paper, the NT News (he said he’s a newspaper junkie), and about buying the Sydney Morning Herlad, which is airfreighted to Darwin and costs $7.10 on Saturday.

After the races, I went to Andrew’s 21st Birthday. It’s been YEARS since I’ve been to a 21st Birthday and they appear to have changed a bit. No yard glass!!! Still, that’s a good thing.

It’s a cold wet Sunday afternoon in Sydney and I’ve just spent some time in the city. In a few hours time I’ll be back in the tropical North once again. I have only two weeks left there, maybe less since I also hope to have some time in Alice Springs on the way back through. Next weekend I plan to visit Kakadu. Can’t wait.